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Financial gain now the main motivator for cybercrime

(Image credit: Image Credit: Balefire / Shutterstock)

Spying is no longer the number one motivation for cyberattacks. According to a new cybercrime report released by Verizon, today's hackers are primarily driven by money.

Based on an investigation of 32,000 incidents and almost 4,000 confirmed breaches, the report claims almost nine in ten (86 percent) of all breaches analysed were motivated by cash – up from 71 percent a year prior.

Meanwhile, credential theft, phishing and BEC attacks amounted to 67 percent of all cyberattacks, and more than half of the attacks (55 percent) were conducted by organised groups.

The report also states that the number of data breaches doubled year-on-year, with hackers capitalising on the transition to remote working, as well as the fact web-based solutions are gaining in popularity. Breaches against web and cloud applications grew 43 per cent year-on-year, according to Verizon.

“A lot of people ended up sending workers to work from home without really thinking through what were some of the security elements in the future,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business Group. “I think employees working from home are probably more vulnerable to attacks.”

According to Erwin, the best way for businesses to protect themselves is to educate their employees. Phishing, for example, remains the most common attack vector, and it relies almost exclusively on the gullibility of staff.